AFL Sydney Men’s Rising Star – Round Ten Nominee

In just his 5th game of Premier Division footy, this weeks Men’s Rising Star Nominee, Thomas Van Dongen has started his senior career very promisingly in season 2021. No games in 2020 due to injury, Thomas has regained his strengths showcasing clean use of the ball by hand and foot and stays calm under pressure. Thomas is the smallest guy on the field but many wouldn’t know it with how hard he hits the contests and his polished performances in both attack and defence, many reasons as to why he has been able to earn himself a consistent name in the teams best each week.

Learn more about this week’s Men’s Rising Star Nominee:

Player Profile

Name: Thomas Van Dongen

AFL Sydney Club: Sydney University

Position: Half Back Flank

Junior Club: St Ives Saints

Favourite activity to do outside of football: 

Surfing and hanging out with friends

What is one thing that we don’t know about this Rising Star that they are well known for around the club?   

Thomas is well known around the club for having a positive and hard-working attitude at training, and not letting his size effect him

What role do they play for the club both on and off the field?   

On the field, Thomas is an effective ball accumulator and user whilst also winning in his 1 on 1 defensive match ups. Off the field, Thomas supports all teams and gets to know all players so that he can cheer them on and support them, always acting as a runner or taking on another support role when he can’t play.

The night before the game what will they most likely be doing?  

The night before games, Thomas like to chill with friends and hopefully watch the Tigers get a win- if they aren’t playing though, he’ll just watch any footy match.

Do they have any pre-game superstitions?   

No real pre-game superstitions; if anything, he tries to have a bowl of pasta the night before

Nomination Details

Reason for nomination this round: 

Tom Van Dongen played his 5th game of Premier Division football in Round 10, after missing a lot of the pre-season out injured. He has developed his game out of sight since being in the colts program last year, and has consistently been named in the top players each week. This week was no different, Tom was once again in the top players after a very clean and consistent game from him.

Coach quote on Performance:

‘Tom Van Dongen has started his senior career very promisingly this season. He hadn’t been a dominant colts player in 2019, and had no games in 2020 due to injury, but has developed his game out of sight. In only his fifth game in the Premier Division team, he has formed a great bond with the backline group. He was extremely clean by hand and foot, was calm under pressure and was tough in the contest as the smallest player on the field. It was very polished both offensively and defensively.’- Lindsay Scown, Senior Assistant Coach

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